photo by Roy Givon, RG Bar Services

Over 130 people attended the Scripps Ranch launch party to announce the formation of BE PRESENT, a nonprofit foundation in memory of Kirsten Westerman, a 2013 graduate of Del Norte High School who lost her battle with leukemia at the age of 20. Kirsten’s experience as a young adult with cancer showed how important the presence of a friend or family member is to the healing process. “When someone you love is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, you find yourself stressing about saying the right thing, bringing the right thing, or staying strong,” said Kirsten’s friends and BE PRESENT Co-founders Brianna Matias, Kelly Watson, and Jordann Phillips, “but what you learn is that there is strength and power in presence.”

BE PRESENT is being established to raise awareness about the importance of the support network to this age group, and seeks to improve the journey of young adults with cancer by educating and empowering friends and families to be present in meaningful ways. For more information visit